References, a revolutionary, rational Anti-religionist. Spong, john Shelby (1991. See spongs books: Rescuing the bible from Fundamentalism: a bishop Rethinks the meaning of Scripture, born of a woman: a bishop Rethinks the birth of Jesus, and, resurrection: Myth or reality? A bishops search for the Origins of Christianity. Spong, john Shelby (1991 rescuing the bible from Fundamentalism: a bishop Rethinks the meaning of Scripture, san Francisco: Harper, 1991. Spong, john Shelby (1992 born of a woman: a bishop Rethinks the birth of Jesus, san Francisco: Harper. Spong, john Shelby (1994 resurrection: Myth or reality?
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If the bible continues to be viewed literally, he asserts, it is doomed to be cast aside as both dated and irrelevant — an exercise which he has mastered already. One can hardly suppress the conviction that the worlds best-selling book will be revered still — long after Spongs memory is but a faintly lingering stench. It is a nauseating labor to review the spiritual foibles of essay this delusional theological celebrity. Spong happily defends a number of vile sexual evils,. G., fornication, adultery, and homosexuality. He is much in favor of same-sex marriages, as if arbitrarily calling a sexual aberration marriage makes. Not everything that parades under the name Christian is deserving of that appellation. And there is no better example of that maxim than that of John Shelby Spong, the rogue priest who has made essay a career of bashing the son of God and disgracing that sacred name before an uninformed public. For a more complete review of Spongs ideology, see. Whats Wrong With Bishop Spong.
He believes the friend genesis record regarding the origin of man is pre-darwinian mythology and post-Darwinian nonsense. In this, he casts reflection upon the savior (Mt. Such aspersions, however, trouble the gentleman not at all. He claims there are passages in the gospels that portray jesus as narrow-minded, vindictive, and even hypocritical. The former Anglican bishop rejects the biblical proposition that Jesus was conceived in the body of a virgin. He does not believe christ performed miracles, or that he possessed the very nature of deity. He repudiates the unshakable truth that the lord was raised from the dead. Though Spong claims to have studied the bible with great intensity, his writings reveal an abysmal lack of knowledge of the sacred text. His ignorance is exceeded only by his arrogant disrespect for the time-tested volume.
It is a travesty that he associates himself with Christianity to any degree. The following points are illustrative of his skeptical mentality. Spongs view of God, spongs god is not the paper god of the hebrew/Christian Scriptures. According to a sympathetic reviewer, the ex-bishop believes that the traditional view of God is dead and that most theological God-talk today is meaningless. Spongs idea is that Jehovah is not even an independent entity; rather, the god-essence — whatever that is — is merely something deep within. This is not biblical theism; it is a form of paganistic pantheism. Spong is saturated with Darwinism.
In 1976, Spong was consecrated as Bishop coadjutor of the Episcopal Church in Newark, new Jersey, and, as sympathetic writer, Ellen Barrett, has observed, the Episcopal Church has not been the same since. In 1982, the Churchs General Convention proposed a study to examine the changing patterns of family life. Taking note of the fact that thousands of couples were living in sexual intimacy outside of marriage, and that there was a growing defense toward same-sex unions, the newark diocese under Spongs leadership ventured to unravel the confusion. The committees findings were reported in 1987. With a logic that would jolt Aristotle in his grave, spong and crew concluded that since sex inside of marriage is not always holy, but can be abused, it must reasonably follow that sometimes sex outside of traditional marriage just might be acceptable as well! Such convoluted reasoning is an embarrassment to any critically-thinking human being. From this point on Spong was thrust into the flames of national controversy — and he loved every moment. His newfound fame appeared to drive him further and further into modernistic radicalism. It is much more difficult to find an issue that Spong is right about, than to find one he is wrong about.
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It was as if epidemiologist he had been struck down with the vengeful precision of Greek myth: if a special circle of hell were constructed for him, he once said, it would involve having his tongue cut out. But the voice—precise, interrogatory and sarcastic, and also, in private, generous and encouraging—can still be heard. I can only read If Not Critical in small bits, says his friend, the poet Alice goodman, because its his voice. From his hospital bed, he told a friend that if that was the last lecture i give, im glad it was on the important semantic differences between alas and alack. This article appeared in the books and arts section of the print edition under the headline "The art of pouncing"). By, wayne jackson, john Shelby Spong has long been known as the nightmare of the more conservative element of the Anglican Church in America. He is as radically liberal as it is possible to be — and still maintain a nominal identification with the name Christian.
Spong was born in North Carolina in 1931. His father, an alcoholic, died when the lad was twelve, and he was taken under the tutelage of a local priest who became a father figure to him. Pursuing his theological education, Spong was ordained into the Anglican priesthood in 1955, at the age of twenty-four. From his earliest days, working with students from duke university, the young man dedicated himself to challenging college students who were out of fundamentalist backgrounds. Having himself ingested radicalism, Spong became increasingly obsessed with dismantling the conservative approach to faith. Purportedly, he wanted to show his youthful proteges that religion is not immigration incompatible with intellectual inquiry. The intellectual aspect of his ambition was his own tainted view of the Scriptures.
Such asperity came back to bite him. He thrived as a media don in the 1980s, when tv schedulers enjoyed the sight of highbrows feasting on pop culture; he filmed a documentary about Talking heads, one of his favourite bands. But his career was derailed after he sniped on-air that. Byatts booker-winning novel, possession, was the kind of novel Id write if I was foolish enough not to know I couldnt write a novel. In 1998 he was embroiled in a scandal after a state-school applicant claimed that, during her interview, Mr Griffiths pointed to some words in Greek and said, being from Essex you wouldnt know what these funny squiggles are. Alas and alack, he disputed that account, but the college stopped him interviewing.
The press portrayed him as a snob, though he was the son of a liverpool docker and himself state-educated. As it turned out, 1998 was a watershed for British education more widely. The labour government introduced tuition fees, which made the relationship between students and universities more transactional. Mr Griffithss bracing style was not in keeping with the era of student-satisfaction surveys. He carried on teaching, but was calmer and more self-contained. His belief that you could mould the mind of an 18-year-old dwindled. A blackboard in his rooms bore the words, how the fuck should i know? In 2011, after being hospitalised for a heart-attack, mr Griffiths suffered a stroke. He was 57; he has since spoken only in stutters.
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I left every lecture and every class thinking that I plan had learned more about trying to be a better human being, says another acolyte. He was one of the last generation of fellows to live in college, and his life was entwined with his students lives beyond the confines of lessons. He held parties (Come and be louche, read the invitations where poetry was read, and Wagner and the pet Shop boys were played at full blast. A trip to tennyson country in Lincolnshire ended with whiskey being swilled in a ditch. Not everyone enjoyed the tutelage of a charismatic teacher who was part exacting literary conscience, part pied Piper. Especially after a drink, mr Griffithss tongue could be harsh. He once dismissed a female students contribution as mildly decorative.
From todays perspective, his approach was, to say the least, unorthodox. He would tease and mock, provoke and scorn. Colin Burrow, who was taught by Mr Griffiths before becoming a colleague, recalls that he had the enormous art of pouncing on what looked like a minor infelicity of phrasing and then teasing out from that the gross conceptual error that lay beneath. One would sit therefeeling a bit like a terrified mouse confronted by a devastating feline opponent. But his ferocity was a sign that he cared. He cherished his students potential too much to let them wallow in sloppy thoughts. He examined their work with as much scrutiny as he devoted. Simon Russell beale, an involvement actor, remembers that he would write his essays on one side of the paper and Mr Griffiths would respond with an essay of his own on the back. A tick in the margin was gold-dust.
something like fabulous poem, darling, loved it loved it loved. He is one of the most skilful practitioners of close reading, an approach to criticism indigenous to cambridge. His attention to detail is never pedantic, but provides clues to attitudes and beliefs. For example, the epithet Kafkaesque is often lazily applied to any situation with a tingle of bureaucratic menace; Mr Griffiths shows how the mood is produced by small words such as if and but, around which Kafkas sentences twist and pivot. Mr Griffiths attracts superlatives. The, guardian once declared him the cleverest man in England. Donald davie, a poet and critic, called him the rudest man in the kingdom. And for many of the pupils he taught over 30 years at Trinity college, cambridge, he was the greatest teacher they ever had.
The performance was electrifying. Not just because the audience was uncertain whether, at any moment, Mr Griffiths (pictured) might hurl a book or jump off the stage or produce a drum to beat out the rhythm of a line of poetry. Or because his voice might rise into a pinpoint impression of Dame Edna everage, or of a character from EastEnders, a british soap-opera, speaking cod-Shakespearean pentameters. Because it seemed as if he had something fresh to say about every word in European literature and the spaces between them. A selection of Mr Griffithss lectures has now been published as If Not Critical. It would be heretical to say their wit, vitality and acumen leap off the page, because Mr Griffiths does not think words reviews work that way. In the Printed voice of Victorian poetry, his only full-length book, he argued that written texts are knotted with ambiguity because they lack the cues of speech—tone, gesture, facial expression and.
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Edited by Freya johnston. Oxford University Press; 272 pages; 35 and. Get our daily newsletter, upgrade your inbox and get our daily dispatch and Editor's Picks. Dressed in a leather jacket and a shoelace-thin tie, or with Armani trousers flapping around his trainers, Eric Griffiths would begin as soon as he reached the lectern. He spoke, as Hamlet instructed the actors, trippingly, pausing only to take small sips of a drink that looked like water, or one that looked like apple juice. His lectures were packed; they were such a hot ticket at Cambridge in the 1980s that. Varsity, the student newspaper, listed them in its entertainment guide. When Robert douglas-fairhurst, now a professor of English at Oxford University, first attended, he asked the student next to him, Are these going to be any good? Dont bother taking notes, she said, just enjoy the show.